Providing a new kind of prescription- Nature
A More Natural and Accessible Treatment
By Daniele Kimes, CMO of Blipic
Want to Follow Doctor’s Orders? Then Go Outdoors.
We all know how important Vitamin D is to our health and wellbeing. There’s no shortage of research and data that validates the benefits of time spent outdoors. It’s proven to better sleep, increase productivity, lessen stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, it can reduce the risk of developing obesity and diabetes. With time spent outdoors our senses sharpen, our irritation fades, and our overall well-being improves.
So why do we limit our intake of sunshine and the time we spend outdoors when we know how important it is to our overall health and well-being? Maybe we want to spend more time outside but life gets in the way, as we’re juggling long work hours, childcare, housework, lack of accessibility and the list goes on.
But the choice to spend time outdoors is becoming no longer an option, as doctors begin prescribing time outdoors for symptoms they traditionally have prescribed medicine for. I know what you might be thinking. An outside prescription is for folks into mindful, holistic or new age medicine. But the fact is, mainstream doctors are jumping onboard the movement towards “nature prescriptions”. Doctors in states like California and North Carolina are leading the charge by partnering with state parks and recreational areas.
Austin based Blipic is furthering this trend by providing workplace programming that inspires employees to spend more time outdoors, together. This not only impacts individual health, but that of the company as well. Offering opportunity to reduce turnover, absenteeism, and productivity loss can have a massive impact on the bottom line. Taking things one step further, Blipic shows that nature is best enjoyed, and offers its greatest benefits, when shared with family, friends, and co-workers.
The irony is, shortly before the writing of this article, a member of the Blipic team was actually given a “Nature Prescription”. The results of a test performed during a routine check-up revealed a vitamin D deficiency among a fellow teammate. The doctor’s suggested action was simply to spend a little more time outdoors. Not pills, not more sleep, not more time in the gym. Just a bit more sunshine. It was a simple reminder that without regular nudges telling us to escape the seemingly endless tasks and deadlines that we put on ourselves today, even the most conscious among us can forget to unplug.
The benefits of a prescription to go outdoors goes beyond improving our health and well-being. It’s an economical option. There’s no out of pocket or out of network expense to spending time outdoors. In addition to getting you healthy and saving you money, it’s an all-inclusive remedy. Harnessing the benefits of time outdoors doesn’t require you to be an endurance athlete. Activities such as gardening, walking your dog, and playing at the park with your kids can result in equal benefits.
Americans have a long way to go when it comes to spending the proper amount of time outdoors, as the average American only spends 7% of their time in natural environments. That’s well below the recommended minimum of 120 minutes per week. Luckily, doctors are catching on to this, and taking positive action.
Are you ready for the movement? As the scientific benefits of time outdoors becomes more widespread you can expect doctors to start asking you how much time you spend outside? Right along with do you smoke? What does your diet look like? And how often do you exercise? Better yet, get ahead of that question and plan your next outing to start enjoying the benefit of sunshine and fresh air. After all, it’s the doctor’s orders!
A bit about the Author- Daniele Kimes is a member of the Blipic team, outdoor advocate and marketing maven.
Additional articles/resources you can list and stats you can pull for infographics.
The average American spends only 7% of their time outdoors. Worldwide, most people spend as much as 87% of their time indoors and 6% in a car or other automobile. Kids today only spend an average of 4–7 minutes outdoors while spending an average of 7½ hours on electronics.Aug 2, 2019
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends 93% of their life indoors. 87% of their life is indoors, then another 6% of their life in automobiles. That’s only 7% of your entire life outdoors. That’s only only one half of one day per week outdoors. Ouch.
How much time should adults spend outside?
Spending 15–20 minutes outdoors a few times a week can help you soak up enough Vitamin D to improve bone strength, stabilize your mood, and balance hormones.